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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  September 2, 2016 7:34pm-8:01pm EDT

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and health. she's here to present her research on the history of the teaching profession and how as policymakers there and an opportunity for all of us to help teachers improve their practice. please join me in welcoming dana to the stage. [ applause [ applause ] >> good morning. thank you jeremy for that really kind introduction. i'm really happy to be with ecs. it's an organization whose research i've relied on so much other the years. just to have a place where i can go as a journalist and see what's happening state to state in our complex 50-state system has been so helpful. i was grateful to receive this invitation. and thank you to all of you who are sticking with me here right before the beautiful long weekend to talk about the history of the teaching profession. so i wanted to begin by going back in time to 2011 when i
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began writing my book, "the teacher wars" about the history of teaching. now at that moment i felt as a longtime education teacher there was something not quite right. teaching had become definitely the most controversial profession discussed in our public life. in the media, and i have a member of the media, but veteran teachers were generally portrayed as undereducated, as incompetents and insufficiently committed to closing the achievement gap. now research showed then and still today that there are really big and serious problems with american public schools, such as a curriculum that's not up to snuff with our international peers, too much rote teaching, too many work sheathes, rote learning and the segregation of our low income
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children of color in separate classrooms and separate schools. these are giant moral and political shortcomings and yet, back in 2011 when i began writing my book, i noticed that the predominant policy response to these issues was very narrow. the weaken teachers' job security protections and then use measures of student learning this was used as a euphemism to identify and fire bad teachers. now if those policies had been a smashing success, helping teacher improve their practice, feel energized and inspired that would be a good thing and i would be here today to celebrate everything that has happened in the past decade. but unfortunately, except for some isolated cases, there really wasn't the sort of system wide success from those narrow policies. i'm a journalist and i have traveled the country reporting on schools so i get to speak with a lot of teachers and i
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heard from many experienced and celebrated educators, pillars in their communities, award winners who said that they were alienated and demoralized by much of the teacher accountability rhetoric that was floating around and polling backed that up. between 2008 and 2012 metlife surveys found that the percentage of teachers who reported being very satisfied with their job plummeted from 62% to 39%, the lowest level in a quarter century. now i had assumed that this war over teaching was new, but while researching my book i discovered that there was actually nothing new about it. since the early 19th century and the beginning of our common schools movement, american policymakers have often portrayed teachers in two unrealistic though often well-intentioned ways. now the first unrealistic
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portrayal of teachers is as angels or super human. to get a taste of that, i want to move back to the mid 19th century and to horace mann, the father of our common schools movement the state by state effort before the civil war to establish universal schooling for all american children. a great social justice movement. in 1853 this is how horace mann described the teacher. he's describing a female teacher. he said quote as a teacher of school how devinely does she come, her feet sweetening the earth on which she treads and t radiance through the beauty of virtue. now that is prose. to translate that arne duncan
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told me in 1909, quote, an effective teacher, they walk on water. now the second unrealistic portrayal of teachers that i write in hi history is embattled and sometimes blamed for large social problems, while certainly an element of them traces back to our schools, they are much bigger than schools themselves. in 1800 before the common schools movement, 90% of classroom teachers were men. but when reformers like horace mann wanted to scale up our education system, they decided to hire only women teacher. why? raising taxes back there was as unpopular as raising taxes is today. women could be paid back then totally legally half as much as men so this was a cost effective way to school the american public. now in order to raise support for this idea of bringing women into the classroom, and this was
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a controversial idea because it was still considered very scandalous for a middle class white woman to get up in front of a group, even a group of children and talk to you like i am today. common school movement reformers resorted to vilifying and attacking male teachers as lash wielding alcoholics addicted to corporal punishment. in one famous 1846 speech katherine beecher, the leading female proponent called male teachers, quote, incompetent, intemp rent, coarse, hard, unfeeling, too lazy and stupid to be entrusted with kids' education. i'm sorry for the male teachers in the room. now this panic about male teachers combined with the sort of unwillingness to have an expensive education system
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really worked. and by 1900, so we're fast forwarding here, 90% of american teachers in northern cities like chicago or new york were female. 1900 was a difficult time for american public education. there were huge numbers of immigrant flooding into our classrooms which meant class sizes in some cases up to 60 kids and there were not enough desks and chairs. and there was a huge need for teachers at this time that girls were graduated the 6th or 7th grade and entering the classroom as teachers. they were hugely underprepared. now, there's a lot of places we might go with a system like that, perhaps better teacher prep, higher standards, smaller class sizes. but actually it was thought among intel leg churls at the time that the real problem now is that women were teachers. in 1800 the problem was too many
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men and in 1900 it was too many women. charles elliott wrote that women teachers were physically weaker than men, more apt to be worn out by the fatiguing work of teaching. unfortunately, panic in which policymakers called for large groups of teachers to be fired continued. we've heard about men and women during world war i and then the mccarthy era, tens of thousands of communist teachers were driven from their job even if they never discussed their political beliefs with their students. and in an often forgotten historical interlude, after brown v. board of education, 40,000 black teachers and principals were fired so they could not compete with the new white teachers in the integrated schools. a lot has changed for the good. at least toez we're focused on the teachers' impacts on the
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students. however the panic of bad teaching that i observed when i began writing my book in 2011, it was focused much more on getting rid of bad teachers than figuring out what good teaching looked like and how to replicate it at school. you all are policymakers so you know that scale is very important in education policy. in america we have 3.3 million teachers, 100,000 to 200,000 are hired each fall and 70,000 alone are hired in our high needs low income schools. so when i i was going around the country reporting on teaching, i asked how many ineffective teachers do you think there are who cannot be brought up to the level that we need for them to be for our kids. and i heard the estimates ranging from 2% to 15% currently
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working are ineffective. i sat down and did the math. 2% to 15% pof american teachers is 16,000. no i want to give arne duncan credit for something he said. quote, we can't fire our way to the top. where are all of the better teachers going to come from and what systems have we put in place to ensure that new teachers coming into the profession are going to do a better job. another reason we can't fire our way to success is because research shows that teacher l g longevity matters. three people conducted an eight-year study of 850,000 4th and 5th graders, a very large study. they found in schools with high teacher turnover where many
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teachers were quitting their jobs each year, students lost significant amounts of learning in reading and math compared to socioeconomically similar pierce in school with low teacher turnover. here's something really interesting. students at the high turnover schools lost learning even if their own teacher was not new. i want to repeat that. they lost learning even if their own teacher was not new and even if overall teacher quality at the school remained constant. so the effect of teacher turnover actually crosses classroom walls. when i thought about it more, i realize t realized this is actually common sense because schools are kmaunts. when administrators are constantly interviewing and hiring, they have less time to focus on improving rejection. and when many teachers resign
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each year, there's weaker tie to the community. in short, turnover means that less adult expertise is spread more thinly along children. if we want great teacher to stay in the classroom over the long term, we have to do something that we've never done before in american educational history. we must do education reform with teachers instead of to teachers. [ applause ] and i think for policymakers, that means that the starting point for improving teaching must be replicating what can be observed by watching the best teachers work. i want to give you a few examples from around the country of how that is happening. i visited the kindergarten classroom in newark. i saw lanore singing with her
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students and getting them excited about books with high complex vocabulary words and watching her teach a group of low income kindergartens, these awesome words looked like magic. it was not magic. it was part of a system. she was a mentor teacher within a program calmed the children's litcy initiative to help early readers read and white. this establishes a model classroom in every school in which it works. that classroom has an open door. teachers have time to -- mentor teachers use their literacy strategies and the mentor teachers have time to visit the novice classrooms and provide feedba feedback. statutes with these classrooms are outperforming their peers in reading. and i want to point out that that mentorship amongst teachers
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taking place outside of the evaluation systems. these are relationships of collaboration and trust between colleagues. at kings bury high school in memphis, one-third of all teachers are working under the residency model which we've heard about today in which training teachers spend their first year as an apen tis in a master teacher's classroom. this allows them to see everything happens to establish discipline and rapport from the first moment of the school year to the last. this type of full-year student teaching experience is standard in many say shan and european nations while most american teachers have 12 weeks or less of student teaching experience. teachers who participate in residency programs have longer career longevity and produced impressive learning gains for children. two years ago when my book was first published, it looked to me like examples like the memphis teacher residency and children's
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literacy initiative were isolated experiments in outliers. but i'm happy to report foed and you've heard it throughout the conference that this is no longer the case. washington has invested over $150 million in teacher residencies. states are shifting their priorities to something that is now easier to do because of increased flexibility. i want to tell you about two states that are leading the way. through new legislation, iowa is fundamentally rethinking the thinking profession by requiring all district to create roles for model teachers, lead teachers and mentor teachers. these teachers ref bonuses between 2,000 dollars and $10,000 a year. and they have time to do the work. some of the roles call for 75% of time with children and 25% of the time with the adults. we can create the roles but if they're not funded and they don't have the time in the day it's not going to work.
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and louisiana has launched the believe and prepare initiative in 2014 it is bringing 1,000 ne teachers into the classroom with a year-long classroom residency already under their belt. in both of these states, policymakers have realized that the role of the mentor teacher is key. when selecting mentors, we have to look for teachers who are not only great with kids, but teachers who have demonstrated the act to work with adults and linking theory and practice. these programs are experimental. it's important as we increase expectations around student teaching we don't allow our teachers to get out of the crucial subject courses in science or math or any other course they teach that will give them the constant need to excel. we cannot do this on the cheap. still, i'm cautiously optimistic. if you are a policymaker and wondering what you can do, i
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know you've heard a lot at this conference. i'll mention a few other resources. the council of chief state school officers has published a report called "our responsibility, our promise." and it explains key state policy levers for transforming the teaching profession. they also talk about international examples, what people are doing in other countries. in singapore, teachers have the opportunity to conduct original research on pedagoguey and education. it allows teachers to maintain their own intellectual engagement in their career. finland decided, and i think this would be very controversial here that only flagship universities could operate teacher training programs. and they simply shut down second and third tier programs. partially as a result of that change, teacher prep became highly selective in finland, which many of you know the profession is open only to people who graduated in the top 10 to 12% of their high school class.
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another nation i like to mention is korea. the career salary range for a teacher there is 55,000 to $155,000 per year. in korea, a teacher earns more than an engineer, and just a little bit less than a doctor. the organization public impact also has a website, opportunityculture.org with ideas in how to redefine the teaching profession to be more collaborative. they suggest paying teachers up to 100% more if they're able to extend their reach by collaborating with adults. with the right federal, state and philanthropic supports we can radically reimagine american teaching as a much more creative and collaborative profession, which in turn will help teaching become more prestigious. academically elite, and culturally respected. this would be a change from our historical pattern from teaching in the united states. so we shouldn't underestimate what a big, big shift this would
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be. we won't get to a highly respected and effective teaching profession with canned or test prep driven lesson plans. we will get there through creating a career lad they're is challenging and exciting. teachers are professionals looking to grow. [ applause ] history teaches us that in the end, real educational improvement will be built not upon our fears of bad teachers, but upon the expertise and leadership of our best teachers who will guide their colleagues to excellence. and this is how we will end the teacher wars. and i'm happy to take questions. thank you. [ applause ] don't be shy.
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>> dana, what do you think would be the most important change the federal government could do with respect to improving the profession as opposed to states? and how do you distinguish here in the policy environments? >> i think the federal government through tools like how race to the top set up a competition for dollars. race to the top was very effective in getting states to change their laws there is a whole lot of other policies that you can imagine being pushed forward through a competition like that, whether it's on these career pathways, extra funding for mentor teachers, something that is near and dear to my own heart which i write about in my book which is working to make our school system less
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segregated by race and class. these are all things that there is a lot of innovative thinking around at the local level. and the federal government can help with funding. i think what we're seeing right now is we're seeing the secretary really widen the conversation in terms of the types of policies that washington is promoting. of course, it's at this moment when there is actually less levers for federal control. so it is really up to all you at the state level to bring these ideas forward at this moment in history. it doesn't mean that four years from now, seven years from now there could be another big push on federal string pulling. but that's not the moment that we're in right now. >> hi, dana. thank you so much for your research and for your advocacy. i'm rick joseph, michigan teacher of the year. and what i'm wondering is the extent to which you saw a role for national board certification in terms of teacher mentoring and creating collegial
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communities of practice so a culture of job-embedded performance-based continuous improvement can exist in schools across the country. >> certainly. i think national board certification is absolutely a model of the type of work i'm speaking about. and i have visited schools where the whole staff together was going through the national board process. and that has been something that has been transformative for staffs that have pursued it. i think that having national board certification and other ways and other systems and locally driven stuff, all that together is going to help move us in the right direction. >> hi, dana, dennis rush from new mexico. we heard some today and something i agree with, increasing the respect and prestige of the teaching profession. but at the same time we had a conversation yesterday about sort of the civil rights desire to make sure that the best teachers go to the most needy
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students in schools, almost like they're assets to be deployed. how do those two get reconciled? how do we keep educators with the autonomy that other professionals have with also trying to meet the needs of we've got to deploy them elsewhere? >> well, i think when educators are taking on a more difficult job, they need to be paid more. so that's a big part of that. on the other hand, and johanna mentioned this earlier, teachers are not solely or even primarily motived by money. the federal government has done some really interesting research on offering teachers $20,000 to go to a higher needs, lower income school. and a lot of people offered that bonus are not interested. and if you really dive in as to why, they will talk about what they perceive as the lack of administrative support, the principals that they want to work for are not in those places. so we've had a very big focus on teacher accountability. we need to bring principals and
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school leadership into the discussion. teachers rarely choose where they're going to work based on the boss they're going to work for. i think all of us do that when we're considering a new job. who am i accountable to, do i trust that person, do i have a rapport with that person. so it is very challenging. another thing we can do, though, is make sure if we can that there are fewer schools that are completely overwhelmed by the challenges of poverty. i live in brooklyn. the school zoning is gerrymandered like a congressional district. if you see where poor kids lived, a zigzagy line will be drawn around. so they're all getting sent to one neighborhood school. this is not acceptable. it's just simply not acceptable. so if we can make fewer schools that are totally overwhelmed with these 90% and up poverty rates, we're going to have more schools where teachers are eager to teach a wide range of our kids.
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i think we're running out of time. okay. thank you so much, everybody. have a good weekend. [ applause ] american history tv airs on c-span3 every weekend, telling the american story through events, interviews, and visiting historic locations. our features include lectures in history, visits to college classrooms across the country to hear lectures by top history professors. american artifacts takes a look at the treasures at u.s. historic sites, and museums. real america revealing the 20th century through archival films and news reels. the civil war where you hear about the people who shaped the civil war and reconstruction. and the presidency focuses on u.s. presidents and first ladies to learn about their politics, policies and legacies. american history tv every weekend on c-span3. c-span, created by america's
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cable television companies and brought to you as a public service by your cable or satellite provider. on "lectures in history" heidi hohmann teaches a class on roads. parkways and how innovations for those were later used in the development of america's freeways. she highlights the work of the olmsted firm and describes how many parkways were described as aesthetic experiences, not just roads between places. her class is about an hour and 10 minutes. okay, gang, today we are looking at the development of roads and the role of landscape architect in early road development. you guys probably don't know a lo

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